Thursday, September 17, 2015

How To Find Peace And Happiness - Award Winning Author Grace Mattioli's Unique Perspective On Relationships Offered In 'Olive Branches Don't Grow On Trees'

Grace Mattioli delivers insight through story.  She writes engaging and moving tales that combine the insight and inspiration of 'The Alchemist' with the humor and quirkiness of 'A Confederacy of Dunces'

Peace and happiness are the most basic of human needs, coming in right behind air and water. A lack of air or water kills very quickly. The lack of peace and happiness just takes a little longer. While we might not immediately make the connection, the search for happiness lies at the core of every human endeavor and every human problem. This begs the question - 'Is there a key to happiness'?

Psychologist Arthur Aron, in a recent piece on Tech Insider entitled, "A Psychologist Reveals The Single Biggest Predictor of Human Happiness", stated the answer to that question clearly when he said, "The single biggest predictor of human happiness is the quality of [a person's] relationships."

Grace Mattioli, award winning author of 'Olive Branches Don't Grow On Trees', has produced a masterful work that details the search for peace and happiness at the level of family relationships. Her treatment of the subject is filled with a quirky style of humor and a healthy dose of inspiration.

"I wrote 'Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees' because I wanted to write a story that showed the inextricable connection between peace and happiness," Mattioli stated. "When Silvia discovers the relationship between her internal restlessness and the disharmonious state of her family, her goal of making peace in her family takes on a whole new dimension, and she pursues this goal with a renewed sense of tenacity."

The father, Frank, works as a judge in a local courthouse, and spends his spare time drinking, cooking food that no one eats and maintaining the most perfectly manicured yard in town. The mother, Donna, is a college professor, and is giving single life a go after spending almost all of her adult life with Frank. Angie, the eldest child, married rich and devastated her father by moving from South Jersey to North Jersey, which as far as Frank is concerned, might as well be another planet. Silvia’s older brother, Cosmo, is brilliant and great at everything he does, but is also a classic underachiever. Her younger brother, Vince, is bursting with energy and is on his way to save the world. And then there is Silvia: Energetic, idealistic, and young, striving to bring her family together, while also struggling to settle down and find a career in which she may utilize her artistic talents. She is extremely independent as she can drive across the country and move from place to place alone. She is highly adaptable and does whatever she has to do to get by, whether that be working as a nude model for art schools or a candy store manager at a mall. Last but not least is Grandma Tucci, whom Silvia loves fiercely. She has passed away years ago, but remains with Silvia in spirit, almost as if guiding her through her adventures in the lessons of life, love, and peace.

While this book addresses such serious issues as alcoholism and offers insight on such topics as forgiveness, it is very humorous and entertaining. As one reviewer wrote:  "The author weaves a tale that is a moving and realistic portrayal of a dysfunctional family with enough drama and humorous family situations that will keep the reader engaged and entertained, while providing a witty sense of humor and subtle messages of life lessons to extend the olive branch and learn to live, love and forgive."

"People will love this book for many reasons," Mattioli concluded, "among them the unforgettable characters such as Frank, the family patriarch. He’s a loud, contentious drunk, but beneath his rough exterior, he is a boy who saddens at the last sip of a milkshake. The Grecos are a quirky bunch of highly individualistic characters that readers will find funny, lovable and very human." As one reviewer wrote: "The family members each find a self-destructive way to survive the chaos…some run away and some fight!  The result is that most can’t be in the same room together without backbiting and sniping at each other.   The author, still somehow, manages to make us care about this family.  All of the Grecos... are entertaining and their quirks are endearing"

In her realistic fiction books, Mattioli paints pictures with words. Her works are filled with vivid descriptions and her characters are extremely dimensional and unforgettable. While her books center around serious issues such as family relations, death and addiction, they are very humorous and fun; readers will be entertained as they gain valuable insights that they can take with them long after they have finished the last page.

Grace Mattioli has won numerous awards. She was chosen as one of '50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading' in 2015. 'Olive Branches Don't Grow On Trees' was named as one of the 'Best Of 2012' by Suspense Magazine.

Grace Mattioli is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below, or by email at Her contemporary fiction books are available at Powell’s, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. More information on all of her work is available at her website at

About Grace Mattioli:

Grace Mattioli is the author of Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees (2012) and Discovery of an Eagle (2014). She has worked as a librarian for over 19 years and has been writing creatively since she was a child.


Grace Mattioli